Cloud Computing in the SAP World !? – Part 2 “On demand” provisioning

Welcome back to my blog articles series around SAP in the cloud! In my last post, we clarified what the different cloud types are and what makes a service offering a true “cloud service” offering.

On Demand

Today, I would like to focus on the “on demand” provisioning and quick turnaround in landscape adjustments. “On demand” includes the automatic adjustment of CPU, memory, disk capacity and -throughput and network bandwidth based on application requirements. It also includes user based demand for example a copy of the production system to a test system.

When thinking about automatic growth of table spaces in a database, the ability to over-provision and prioritize CPU horsepower in virtual system environment, we are in many ways on track for having on demand capacity available.

Memory “on demand” is also readily available in virtual machines, but with the current inflexibility of SAP’s kernel product – it does not recognize memory changes without a restart – the additional memory can be assigned, but would sit idle.

There is a lot of activity in the SAP market

Viewing the on demand provisioning more from an application perspective, there is a lot of activity in the SAP market going on right now. SAP is working on a solution that will allow the dynamic provision and removal of application servers by simply adding additional virtual machines which are configured as application servers.

On Demand needs flexible automated solutions

There are also many customer, service providers and third party solution firms that put a lot of effort into automation and complex scripting. I just talked to a vendor yesterday that is selling a solution that allows 99.5% automated QA system refreshes from production, and this is just one example. I am sure that the effort being put in automating the operations of a SAP landscape will increase in the next 2 years because all “on demand” services in this regards can only be achieved by flexible automated solutions.

“On Demand” – current situation?

Are we there yet? Well, I would say, in the pure technical capacity management and provisioning and when looking at innovative service providers like itelligence, we are there about 90%. When looking more at the application side we may be at 25% of what can be done in a few years.

My next article will scratch the surface of current virtualization technologies – what is available regarding CPU, memory, SAN and network virtualization and how does this help making operations more effective and reliable.

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